Marine Biology

, Volume 114, Issue 2, pp 281–288 | Cite as

Gill function and particle transport in Placopecten magellanicus (Mollusca: Bivalvia) as revealed using video endoscopy

  • Peter G. Beninger
  • J. Evan Ward
  • Bruce A. MacDonald
  • Raymond J. Thompson


The technique of endoscopic video observation was used to study feeding processes of Placopecten magellanicus (Gmelin), collected from Bull Arm, Newfoundland in August 1991 and 1992, under near-natural feeding conditions. The fate of captured particles depended on the extent of ingestive or handling capacity saturation. Under low (1 to 10 particles μl-1) to medium (10 to 20 particles μl-1) particle concentrations, most particles were incorporated in continuous anteriorly directed slurries in the dorsal ciliated tracts of the gill arch and dorsal bends. As particle concentration or exposure time to the lower particle concentrations increased, four endogenous mechanisms of ingestion volume control were increasingly observed: (1) rejection of dense mucus-particle masses from the principal filament troughs onto the ventrally beating cilia and associated currents of the ordinary filament plicae, counter to and below the incoming pallial current maintained by the principal filament cilia; (2) intermittent stopping of the anteriorward flow in the dorsal ciliated tracts; (3) reduction or cessation of input from the principal filaments to the dorsal ciliated tracts; (4) detachment of the dorsal bends from the mantle to establish a shunt from the infrabranchial to the suprabranchial cavity. Chemical and histochemical tests of purified fluid withdrawn from the dorsal ciliated tracts indicate that mucus is present at all particle concentrations. Mucus therefore participates both in normal feeding and in ingestion volume control on the bivalve gill, although different mechanisms, and types of mucus, effect transport of material in the dorsal (feeding) and ventral (cleaning) ciliated tracts.


Bivalve Particle Concentration Mollusca Gill Arch Capacity Saturation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter G. Beninger
    • 1
  • J. Evan Ward
    • 2
  • Bruce A. MacDonald
    • 2
  • Raymond J. Thompson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department de Biologie, Faculté des SciencesUniversité de MonctonMonctonCanada
  2. 2.Marine Sciences Research LaboratoryMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John'sCanada

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